March Is Fraud Prevention Month

Is it just me, or does there seem to be an increase in fraudulent activities these days? I have seen increased evidence of activities such as phishing, spoofing, faux lottery schemes, and calls asking for renewals of directories never previously purchased, as well as the ever popular grabbing of company logos from websites and using them on letters to defraud people out of money in their bank accounts.

And as if phishing weren’t enough, there is something even more targeted called “spear phishing“:

How spear phishing scams work
Spear phishing describes any highly targeted phishing attack. Spear phishers will send e-mail that appears genuine to all the employees or members within a certain company, government agency, organization, or group. The message might look like it comes from your employer, or from a colleague who might send an e-mail message to everyone in the company, such as the head of human resources or the person who manages the computer systems, and could include requests for user names or passwords. [quote from Microsoft]

Just in time, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Canadian consumer protection agencies declared March as “Fraud Prevention Month“:

FTC and Canadian Consumer Protection Agencies Kick Off March as Fraud Prevention Month

Competition Bureau – March Declared “Fraud Prevention Month” in Canada and Around the World

Some related sites:

Reporting Economic Crime Online – RECOL is a Canadian agency

Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) – a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C)

PhoneBusters – set up by the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), Competition Bureau Canada and OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) to field reports of fraud, especially telephone fraud.

Phone Busters – Sample Letter Refusing Acceptance of Goods (Word format).

(Thanks to a Sabrina for pointing out Fraud Prevention Month to me.)


  1. They’re going to have to work overtime to make any headway against fraud this month. A number of sources are reporting that for the last couple of weeks Citibank and other US banks have been facing perhaps the worst attack on their debit card system ever. Here’s the growing post from BoingBoing, which seems to have broken the story:

    So, yes, Connie, you’re right: there’s a whole lot more fraud around lately.